Hard Days Come Before Rainbows

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Today is a Rainbow day.  Yesterday, not so much.   Sweetie 4 was convinced that I was mad at her.  I didn’t act mad at her.  I didn’t say anything unkind to her.  I didn’t even raise my voice towards her.
But she was convinced!
So what did she do?  She worked herself into a frenzy saying I was mad at her and that she was tired of being “yelled at”.
I was so puzzled!
“Sweetie, mama hasn’t yelled at you at all.”
” It makes me sad when you falsely accuse.”
A few minutes later, she said, “Mama, I’m really sorry I said that.”
“I know you weren’t yelling at me.”
I forgave.
And then, it all started over again.
Why?
Because we were having to deal with some real flaws that were cropping up in regards to school work.
I had noticed she wasn’t finishing a few things and that we needed to shore up some areas being missed.
She didn’t like the idea of being told she was behind and needed to work harder.
This was all done matter of factly, with gentleness, but that idea that she wasn’t “perfect” was just too much.  She was tying her value and self worth into not finishing her work on time.
Late work = worthless child.  This is how SHE views things… and the sorrow of feeling worthless was too much to bear.

Children who have suffered trauma, many times will respond to shame,  with behaviors that are not acceptable, and it then makes them even more ashamed.
Breaking that cycle is not an easy task.

But remaining calm is VERY important.  Stating facts and not wavering from the truth, while gently guiding them back to reality is really effective.
We have to be the steady hand that calms the unruly spirit and then gently restores them .

If we steadily use this process of gentle correction, eventually the shame will be replaced with confidence and a good self outlook.

We were able to sit together and decide what was best to help Sweetie 4 keep up her work.
We opted for a minute timer set at 45 minutes for each subject.
Explaining to her that many people need extra help through external  stimuli such as a minute timer made her feel much better. 🙂

And today, Rainbows.  That timer has worked like a charm! 🙂

1 Responses to Hard Days Come Before Rainbows

  1. MeretO says:

    The part of this post that called out to me was when you said
    “…but that idea that she wasn’t ‘perfect’ was just too much. She was tying her value and self worth into not finishing her work on time.”

    I’m an adult, the mother of grown children, but I still sometimes tie my value and self-worth to what the world calls “success” and I always come up short . Since I can’t look to a loving mom to gently listen and set me back on track, your remarks remind me to be a loving mom to myself.

Comments warmly welcomed!

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